Ingrid Bergman: “I Look Like a Milkmaid.”

Ingrid Bergman desperately wanted to get out of making Casablanca. So did Humphrey Bogart. Nobody knew that Casablanca was going to end up spanning decades and lasting … At the time, it was just another movie, being churned out by the studio. No big deal, nothing special.

Bergman was convinced she was miscast.

She and Bogart had lunch together before they started shooting – and Geraldine Fitzgerald (a wonderful actress, also under contract at Warner Brothers) sat with them.

Fitzgerald describes Bogart’s concern and anxiety about the lack of an ending in the script.

And Bergman kept saying, “I am miscast. Why doesn’t anyone care that I am so miscast? The script says: ‘We have never had a woman so beautiful come to Casablanca‘ But I look like a milkmaid. No one will ever believe it.”

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8 Responses to Ingrid Bergman: “I Look Like a Milkmaid.”

  1. DBW says:

    If that’s what milkmaids are like, I just might but a cow.

  2. DBW says:

    Not sure if that was a Freudian slip, but I meant ‘buy’ a cow.

  3. Ken Summers says:

    Milkmaids rule.

  4. dorkafork says:

    There’s a two-disc DVD version out that I cannot recommend enough. It has 2 commentary tracks, one by Ebert and another by a film historian. Absolutely amazing. You’d love it.

    But I should warn you, Ebert’s track poo-poos quite a few stories surrounding the making of Casablanca, particularly the Reagan story and the “lack of an ending” story. So you may be a little disappointed at what he does to some of the legends surrounding the making of Casablanca. For example (warning! poo-pooing ahead): He says the “lack of an ending” story is “not quite true”. His argument, IIRC, is that when Bergman talked about how she didn’t know who she was in love with/going to get on the plane with, she was talking in terms of her character. “Ilsa” didn’t know who she was in love with. I think he also argued that although the ending hadn’t been written yet, Ilsa had to get on the plane with Victor, for story/screenplay reasons and for reasons relating to morals of the time, so although the exact dialogue hadn’t been written, the end result would’ve been clear. I’m going to have to watch it again.

  5. Sasha Castel says:

    I agree with Dorkafork, the 2-disc set is a must. And he/Ebert is/are correct, the “she didn’t know which guy she was going to end up with” is either a fib or a publicity stunt. The Hays production code in effect at the time would not have allowed Ilsa to leave her husband for another man.

    The DVD set also has the Looney Tunes short “Carrotblanca” on it. Even without Mel Blanc doing the LT characters’ voices, it is a scream. (Pepe le Pew as Captain Renault? LOL.)Must watch.

  6. red says:

    Carrotblanca is hysterical.

    And about the “myth” – I got my information from “The Making of Casablanca”, the book. Jules Epstein, one of the writers, did not know how to end the film – what would be more powerful – When he and his brother (co-scriptwriter) came up with the line “Round up the usual suspects”, they knew they had an ending, and everything followed after that.

    Thank God she got on that plane. The movie wouldn’t have been the same without her and his sacrifice.

    I’m believing the “legend”, people. It’s in my nature. If it’s fiction, then I make no secret that I prefer fiction to reality. :)

  7. red says:

    I love when Bugs as Rick says, “Of all the juice joints in all the world…”

    Too funny.

    And Tweetie as the Peter Lorre character. HA!!

  8. Marx, Chaplin, and Bogey

    A couple of times now I have asked the students if they have seen one or another cultural milestone, Casablanca for example. Few have. Heck, I never got around to until last year when La Sheila’s rants finally convinced me…